19-year-old dead at Horah and Institute streets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SALISBURY — Police have arrested one suspect and are searching for another in the Monday afternoon shooting death of a Salisbury 19-year-old.

Dead is Abraham Iman Jenkins of 916 W. Horah St., the city’s fourth homicide victim this year.

Andre Rynell Bognuda, 22, of 319 E. Fisher St., was arrested Monday and charged with murder.

Neighbors said they saw two men chasing Jenkins at the intersection of West Horah and Institute streets about 2:50 p.m. They said they heard one shot, followed by four or five more shots.

Jenkins died on the sidewalk in front of a home at 1001 Institute St.

The gunmen fled on foot.

Bognuda was first taken into custody after a traffic stop on Knox Street, charged with resist and obstruct and delay. Authorities then served him with a murder warrant and placed him in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond.

Salisbury Police are still looking for a second suspect, described as a black male in his late teens to early 20s, with dark skin and short dreadlocks.

Joyce Smyre, who lives across the street from the boarding house where Jenkins lived, said she didn’t know much about him, but often saw him leaving early in the morning for work. She said he also regularly attended church on Sundays.

Jenkins was a “nice young man,” she said, who didn’t bother anyone and kept to himself. He lived with his cousin, she said.

She was saddened to hear the news of Jenkins’ death and recalled seeing him about 10 to 20 minutes before he was killed. As she left home to go to the grocery store, she saw Jenkins on the corner, waved at him and drove away. She said upon her return she did not immediately know Jenkins had been shot.

She often cooked too much to eat and would take Jenkins a plate of food, she said. He also helped Smyre with her groceries from time-to-time, carrying them into her home.

One resident of the boarding house confirmed Jenkins was a native of Detroit. The resident, who did not want to be named, said she believed Abraham Jenkins’ father also lived in Rowan County.

Another neighbor who did not want to be named said she was on the phone when she heard the gunshots. She ran to her door, looked outside and saw two men running behind Jenkins. She thought all three were running from someone else. When it was all over, she realized Jenkins was running from the other two men.

Police have not confirmed how many times Jenkins was shot, but the neighbor said she believed Jenkins was struck in the chest, back and leg.

“It doesn’t make sense,” she said shaking her head.

She said she’s lived in the neighborhood for 58 years.

The shooting prompted a lockdown at nearby Livingstone College and Salisbury High School. Entrances and exits were shut at Livingstone, whose students, staff and employees stayed in their buildings and dormitories for about an hour. The college lifted the lockdown at 4:15 p.m.

Livingstone spokesman State Alexander said students were notified of the lockdown via an email and telephone alert system. He said as soon as college officials heard about the shooting, they decided on the restrictions as a precaution.

“We tried to be prudent in our decision-making,” Alexander said.

Police don’t believe Jenkins was a student, and a spokesman with the college confirmed they had no information that indicated otherwise.

Rowan-Salisbury School System spokeswoman Rita Foil said the incident occurred after Salisbury High School students had been dismissed, but the school was placed in lockdown as a precautionary measure. Salisbury Police released the lockdown once the scene was secured, she said.

The shooting caused panic in some homes.

Lakeesha Skipper does not live in the neighborhood but received a frantic call from her daughter, who lives at the corner where the shooting occurred. Skipper, who lives on Fulton Street, ran to her daughter’s house.

“I hung up, grabbed my keys and ran up Monroe Street,” she said.

Skipper said she cut through the back of Livingstone’s campus and was stopped by campus police. She explained to them she was not a student and was trying to get to her daughter’s house near the shooting.

Skipper said she was in a panic because she has three grandchildren at her daughter’s house.

Another neighbor, who declined to provide his name, said he was arriving home from work when he saw two men running after the victim. One assailant had on a white T-shirt and the other had dreadlocks.

Neighbors said minutes felt like forever while waiting for help to arrive for Jenkins. Police said Rowan EMS tried to resuscitate Jenkins, but could not.

Jenkins’ death is the fourth murder in Salisbury this year. The most recent fatal shooting occurred in July at Clancy Hills Apartments, after which Kevin Rashee Toomer was charged with the murder of Eric Maurice Feamster.

Police continue to investigate the March death of 68-year-old William “Billy” Henderson, robbed and stabbed at his West Bank Street home. In May of this year, Tasha West was stabbed at the Calhoun Street apartment of her ex-boyfriend, Tony Lamont Luther. He was charged in her death.

Anyone with information regarding Jenkins’ shooting is encouraged to call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-JAIL(5245). These calls can be made anonymously.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.